CRIME

Former Abia State Governor, Uzor Kalu to Stand Trial Again- EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has stated that former Abia State Governor, Uzor Kalu will again go on trial.

The Commission’s boss, Abdulrasheed Bawa said this on Thursday at the State House in Abuja.

Mr. Orji Uzor Kalu who is now a Senator, had appealed his case all the way to the Appeal Court before he was set free by the Supreme Court.

History of the Senator Uzor Kalu Case
Kalu was convicted by the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court on Thursday, 5 December 2019 and sentenced to 12 years in prison for N7.65 billion fraud He was convicted for defrauding the government of Abia State where he was a governor for 8 years using his company, Slok Nigeria Limited. Days after the court ordered the forfeiture of the company, Nigeria anti graft agency, Ecominic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC commenced the process of winding down Slok Nigeria Limited including The Sun Publishing Ltd which was not part of the charges.

Consequently, The Sun Publishing Ltd approached a high Court in Lagos for interpretation of the judgment that convicted Kalu and Slok Nigeria Limited asking the court to compel EFCC to stay away from The Sun Publishing Ltd since it was not part of the court case. He was held in custody at the Ikoyi prisons in Lagos.
On Friday, 8 May 2020, the Supreme Court of Nigeria ruled that his trial was wrongly conducted and released him from prison while ordering a retrial.

The Supreme Court deemed Mr Kalu’s conviction inappropriate and ordered a retrial of the case, according to multiple media reports out of the court. A seven-member panel of the apex court, in a unanimous verdict delivered by Justice Ejembi Eko, declared the conviction null and void.

According to details of the ruling, Justice Eko declared that Justice Mohammed Idris, who convicted Mr Kalu, had already become a justice of the Court of Appeal, when he ruled and sentenced Mr Kalu and his co-defendant as a trial judge.

He held that a Justice of the Court of Appeal cannot operate as a judge of the Federal High Court, and ordered the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to reassign the case for trial. Kalu was released from the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service Kuje on Wednesday 3 June 2020.

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